Commission looks for ways to cut cost of roads project

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY JULIE ANDERSON
The Marion County Commission continued to look at ways to reduce the cost of the second phase of the county roads project at its April 10 meeting.



Commissioner Jack Bruner recommended approaching Schilling Construction, the contractor with the low bid, to renegotiate the cost because of lower oil prices.



?I think there?s a way we could save some money there,? Bruner said.



Some concern was expressed by Commission Chair Linda Peterson and Commissioner Bob Hein about talking to only the lowest bidder.



?We should make sure that we are legal and talk to Dan (Baldwin),? Hein said.



County engineer Michael Olson said he would approach them and see what they have to say as well as find out how it would affect the contract and check with the county attorney.



Olson also proposed several ways to save money. One was to not apply prime to the streets, which would save $31,275.



Olson also said they could save money by reducing contingency by 15 percent and lowering the amount of materials for patching from 500 tons to 100 tons. This would save $200,273.40.



An alternative would be removing one of the four-mile roads from the project. Although this would lower the cost by $250,678, none of the commissioners favored it.



Peterson also suggested doing the rock next year so it could be paid for out of next year?s budget.



?I still say we need to go ahead with it,? Hein said.



Peterson agreed but said they would have to give it some serious thought. Olson will report what cuts can be made to the commission on April 24.



In other business commissioners:



— approved the Kansas Department of Transportation to build a new bridge east of Florence. Michael Olson will review the plans.



— signed a letter of support for the Marion Reservoir Water Quality Project.



— heard from Stan Zunkewicz who took over as director of Northview Development. He is working to finish getting the contracts signed and will begin putting together next year?s budget.



— gave their support of ?Sentimental Journey? program for hospice patients. With the program, back up ambulances would take a patient out to an old home, school or other place of interest. There would be a one-hour time limit and the patient would not be charged for the ride.



— heard a monthly report from Dale Snelling, park supervisor. Snelling informed the commissioners of some items he needs for the lake.



The commissioners approved a bid from Wiebe Siding for $2,838 for heated dock windows and a bid from B & B Handyman for $503.96 for a Stihl pole pruner.



Snelling also is looking into hiring a part-time person to do patrol work at the lake.



— was informed by Rollin Schmidt, director of the noxious weed department, that something needs to be done with the department?s 1988 Chevy truck. The clutch and transmission are giving them trouble. Schmidt also said the department needs a new copier.



— heard a presentation by Michael Floodman and Sharyn Scheinost-McGeeney of Pre-Paid Legal Plans. The commissioners agreed to let them give a presentation to the employees about the plan for attorney services offered for $14.95 a month.



— heard a request by Clay Tajchman to allow him to get a building permit. His request to rezone an area to rural residential was denied by the zoning board.



New considerations include letters of support from all of his neighbors within a two-mile radius and information that the road to the land has been rocked by the county. The commissioners will make a decision April 17 after looking over the minutes from the zoning boards meeting.

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